I have a 2008 MacBook. 2-3 minutes after startup the rotating beach ball appears. The only option at that point is to reboot. I have tried reinstalling the factory disks, installing Snow Leopard 10.6.3. I have replaced the HDD with a factory Fujitsu. It passes Apple Hardware Test (AHT). I have also created a USB bootable and booted from there. Same results, even with the HDD removed. Beyond that I have been through all the following: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201255 (start up options), https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203161 (troubleshooting). The only mode in which it will operate without crashing is in single user mode. I've been working on it for 3 weeks and I'm afraid I'm going to have to throw it away.

  • Whatever happens DON'T THROW IT AWAY! Sell it on eBay. Believe me, someone will want it for parts and you'll at least get some money for it. No matter how damaged an Apple product is, someone will want it for the right price. I buy broken stuff all the time. – RedEagle2000 Mar 28 '16 at 5:59
  • @RedEagle2000 - make me an offer. It's in perfect physical condition. I bought a new battery for it that has maybe 10 hours on it. There is no damage and I have the factory disks. drcurvin at carestandard.com – Dahere Mar 31 '16 at 8:32

It seems like you've covered almost everything, but what I would do is start with the RAM. You said haven't changed it and RAM problems typically leave the computer somewhat functional, like how it will startups, but soon crash. I can personally recommend OWC for Mac replacement parts, but wherever you go, just make sure to buy Mac-specific RAM; I've had a terrible experience with Best Buy, one-size-fits-all RAM.

If that doesn't do it, it almost has to be the logic board, but don't go there first, as it should cost you more than RAM.

  • Thanks @RedEagle2000. I have not tested new RAM. Fortunately, I buy / upgrade Macs 2 at a time, one for my wife and one for me. So, I have an identical late 2008 MacBook that works perfectly. Will test it's RAM in the MacBook in question. A new logic board costs about what the MacBook cost originally. So, if this doesn't work I'll try it as a Ubuntu server. If that doesn't work, will go to EBay. – Dahere Mar 31 '16 at 8:37

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